FIM Speedway Under 21 World Championship Final 3
Pardubice, Czech Republic 19th September 2015
For Poland’s Bartosz Zmarzlik 2015 has been a memorable season. In July this talented young man helped his national team to a bronze medal in the Speedway World Cup in Denmark then guided his under 21 colleagues to qualify for the under 21 Speedway World Cup Final in Australia next month. The 20 year old qualified for the 2016 Speedway Grand Prix series by winning the Grand Prix Challenge last month and reached the Final of the Gorzów Speedway Grand Prix again this year. He gained thousands of new admirers with his gesture of donating all his prize money from the Gorzów Grand Prix to the Darcy Ward Foundation in aid of his stricken fellow racer.
On Saturday Bartosz added a further title to his growing list when he won the 2015 Speedway Under 21 World Championship on the wide spaces of the famous 391 metre Pardubice track in the Czech Republic. Holding a four point lead going into the meeting he saw his nearest rival Pawel Przedpelski suffer a disastrous start to his challenge and so was assured of the championship long before the meeting was over. With the pressure off he relaxed and having ridden unbeaten for his first four races, dropped two points in his last race then finished behind Anders Thomsen in a run off for the silver medal.
For the Danish squad it was a good afternoon which was some consolation for their nightmare meeting in Lublin last month. They took three of the top five places with Mikkel Michelsen winning the meeting dropping his only point to Zmarzlik in the opening race. Thomsen enhanced his growing reputation by taking the silver medal and Mikkel Bech Jensen also enjoyed a more successful return to finish in fourth spot.
Others to impress included Australian Max Fricke who completed a satisfying season with a fifth position and German Valentin Graubauer with a hard won sixth place.
Official result of Final 3:
• Mikkel Michelsen (Denmark) 14 points
• Anders Thomsen (Denmark) 13
• Bartosz Zmarzlik (Poland) 13
• Mikkel B Jensen (Denmark) 12
• Max Fricke (Australia) 11
• Valentin Grobauer (Germany) 9
• Andzejs Lebedevs (Latvia) 8
• Brady Kurtz (Australia) 8
Although the destiny of the series gold medal had already been decided, a run off between Thomsen and Jensen was required to determine the second and third places overall. Unfortunately for Jensen, his chain broke at the start of the run off leaving Thomsen with no opposition to cruise round for the silver medal.
Final Championship standings for 2015:
1. Bartosz ZMARZLIK POLAND 39
2. Anders THOMSEN DENMARK 34
3. Mikkel MICHELSEN DENMARK 34
4. Mikkel BECH JENSEN DENMARK 29
5. Pawel PRZEPDELSKI POLAND 29
6. Max FRICKE AUSTRALIA 28
7. Andžejs LEBEDĚVS LATVIA 24
8. Brady KURTZ AUSTRALIA 22
The series has again underlined the success of the Under 21 World Championship which has spawned so many world class racers in the past and no doubt we shall be looking at some of these riders as senior champions in the very near future.